The weather was particularly good yesterday and it made a nice change to the rain and wind we’ve had this week. I decided it was a good chance to get some final preparation in for the 3Ds, so I finished work early and headed down to the wood. The weather held for the rest of the day and it was a really nice evening in the wood (if you ignore all the mosquitos).

For a practice round, I decided to shoot the bottom half of the EFAA course set out in our wood. I figured this would give me a good range of distances from 10 to 80 yards. I didn’t spend too much time on the 80 yard target as I assume there won’t be any targets over 60 yards at the 3Ds and if there are any around that distance there will only be a couple.

The practice went well, although it would appear my gap distances have changed recently. My 50 and 60 yards gap have moved and I now need to shoot 45 yards at 50. Not too much of a problem as long as I remember Smile

I’m putting good groups together at all distances between 20 and 50 yards which means the consistency is coming back to my form. It has been missing for a month or so and it’s good to have it back. The only cause for concern is the closer distances, around 15 yards or less. I still seem to be a bit erratic and occasionally I get a wild arrow. I’m not sure if this is panic or just that I’m not concentrating as hard because the target is right in front of me. Hopefully there won’t be many of those at the 3Ds either.

Time to pack and plan the journey down to Devon.

Have a good one.

When I’m developing websites, I usually run a test website in  a user directory on one of my web servers instead of setting up a new virtual host under the main web server. There are a couple of reasons for this, the main one is I don’t have to change anything in my httpd.conf. The web server is already set up with the right config to allow content in user directories, so all I have to do is create a new user.

The one thing I always struggle with, is the correct permissions on the public_html folder in the user directory. I can never seem to remember the correct process, if you add to this all the complications of SELinux, I always end up googling the solution. There are plenty of good articles out there on the internet already, but I can never seem to find them when I need them. That’s why I decided to write this post…

As I already said, my apache servers are usually already set up to server content from user home directories, but I’ve included the steps here for completeness.

Edit the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file and find the UserDir section.

  1. Comment out the UserDir disabled line
  2. Uncomment the ‘UserDir public_html’ line.
  3. Also uncomment the whole ‘<Directory /home/*/public_html>’ section until the ‘</Directory>’.

When you’re finished, your httpd.conf should look like the one below:

 # UserDir disabled

 # To enable requests to /~user/ to serve the user's public_html
 # directory, remove the "UserDir disabled" line above, and uncomment
 # the following line instead:
 UserDir public_html

 <Directory /home/*/public_html>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride FileInfo

Now we need to make sure we have the correct permissions on the users home area. Let’s make sure the home area is only readable by the owner.

 # chmod 711 ~<username>

Now we’ll give apache the correct rights to read the users public_html folder.

# chmod 755 -R ~<username>/public_html/

Last of all we need to take care of SELinux to make sure apache can actually get the files from the user home directories.

# chmod 755 -R ~<username>/public_html/
# chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t ~<username>/public_html

If you made changes to the httpd.conf file, restart your web server.

#service httpd restart

That’s it, apache should now server pages from your user public_html folder.

I hope this saves you some of the headaches I’ve experience setting this stuff up…


If you’ve ever used an iPad or iPhone to connect up to an ipsec vpn endpoint, you’ll be familiar with this screen.

I’ve been using these connections for a while now, mainly connecting to Cisco ASA firewalls. I use these VPN tunnels for both personal and business requirements. In the past I haven’t been able to find a way to save the password, which means every time I want to connect to the VPN I have to type in my password. Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t do short passwords, so typing in a long complex password every time I connect is a huge pain in the ass.

Until recently, I though this was a problem in IOS and Apple’s need to be overly secure. It wasn’t until recently I found out this is actually a Cisco issue. It’s a security restriction put in place by default on the Cisco iPhone client and the Cisco VPN termination device, and the good news is that there is a fix!

If you want to enable the apple clients to save their password, add the following line to the vpn group configuration on your Cisco ASA/Pix:

Log on to the ASA/Pix and enter configuration mode:

PBS-WA-ASA5510# conf t

Find the group policy for the the VPN group you want to enable saved passwords

PBS-WA-ASA5510(config)# group-policy vpnusers attributes

Add the config to allow saved passwords

PBS-WA-ASA5510(config-group-policy)# password-storage enable

et voila!

Users will be able to save the password on the IOS device. They will still need to enter it the first time they log in, but not for subsequent logins.

Hope you find this useful. Don’t forget to save your config…


My second competitive shoot of 2015 was at one of the courses I’ve come to hate. Before anyone bites my head off, there is nothing wrong with the course. It’s a very tricky, challenging course. I just hate it because a lot of it is out in the open and I find it very hard to judge any distances. I am however getting a bit better at it.

It was another cold morning, and there was still a lot of snow and ice on the ground when we arrived. I fired up the new hand warmers (see my previous post) and set about getting booked in and kitted up.

Once out on the course, I found it difficult to get going despite having spent a little time on the practice bosses. This is the second week running I’ve had this problem and I need to sort it out. I’m not sure if it’s the cold or lack of practice but I definitely need to work on it. The first three targets I scored 10, 10 and 14. That’s 14 points given up in three targets, something that you can’t afford to do given the level of the current AFB shooters. I did eventually manage to get going, and finished the first half of the course with a 16.3 average.

The second half of the course was a bit tougher than the first, with more targets out in the open. I had a shaky patch halfway around the second loop but thanks to some really good shots towards the end of the course I managed to finish the day with a score of 594 and 6 spots. The average was a little lower than I would’ve liked at 16.5, but given the fact that I don’t normally shoot well at Woodend I was happy with it and it was certainly better than my last performance here.

I mentioned the 6 spots earlier, and for good reason. They actually turned out to be important. Paul ended the day on the same score of 594, but more importantly only 3 spots. For the first time in a long time I’d managed to beat Paul, and on a course I don’t really like that much. 2015 is off to a good start.


My 2015 archery season got underway properly yesterday at the Castle Bowmen open shoot in Woodhall Spa. I’ve already done a couple of friendly shoots this year but nothing too serious, although I wouldn’t exactly call yesterdays attempt serious.

I knew it would be hard work, when l started the car to defrost it at 7am the temperature gauge said -3c. Travelling to Woodhall Spa, the temperature went as low as -4.5c. At the start of the shoot, the temperature was -2.5.

Shooting in cold temperatures is always hard work, it’s difficult to keep the muscles warm enough to keep them free, it didn’t help that after two targets we were already stood around waiting for the group in front to clear the targets. Not what you need when it’s that cold. The problem with standing around is that the muscles get cold and each shot is essentially the first shot of the day, you don’t get in to any sort of rhythm. All this resulted in me getting off to a particularly slow start.

By lunchtime, the temperature had increased in to positive numbers and we’d let the group in front have a good head start. I started getting in to a rhythm and my shooting started to improve. At the end of the day, I managed to piece together a score of 590 from 36 targets. Not exactly record breaking, but an average of just over 16 per target and good enough for second place on the day and only 26 points off 1st place.

I’m happy enough with the result, and its a fairly modest start to 2015. I’m off to Woodend Field Archers next weekend. It’s not a course I do well at usually as a lot of it is out in the open which makes distance judging hard for me. I’m hoping to do a lot better than my last performance on this course though.

Onwards and upwards…